There's No Lying in Baseball
By David Harsanyi
Boston Mayor Tom Menino recently delivered one of the most atrocious speeches in the history of oration when, during a dedication to hockey great Bobby Orr, he not only referred to Boston sports greats as "ionic" instead of "iconic" but also followed it up by reminiscing: "Havlicek stole the ball, Fisk waving the ball fair. Flutie launched the Hail Mary pass, Varitek splitting the uprights."
Now, for those of you who aren't sports fans -- or who never would feign to be sports fans or can't afford a speechwriter with some tenuous familiarity with being a sports fan -- Jason Varitek was the catcher on two Boston Red Sox championship teams, a franchise that went nearly a century without a title and, being a baseball franchise, one that has no interest in splitting uprights or winning Super Bowls.
In old war movies, spies often exposed themselves by lacking some rudimentary American sports knowledge. Politicians who rely on the cheap ploy of connecting with the common voters by piggybacking on the achievements of local heroes are also often exposed as pandering infiltrators. Sports fans can sniff out these ham-handed fakes rather effortlessly.
I still hold that Martha Coakley sealed her fate in the Massachusetts senatorial race when she said Red Sox hero Curt Schilling was a Yankees "fan." On Opening Day this season, Barack Obama was reminiscing with broadcasters about his all-time favorite team, the Chicago White Sox, but was unable to name a single member of that franchise -- ever. Now, Sammy Sosa briefly played for the White Sox, but only after our previous president, as minority owner of the Texas Rangers, watched as the future 600-home-run hitter was traded to Chicago for nothing.
Even with their many tribulations, professional sports are comparatively uncontaminated by the bitterness and ugliness that taint most politics -- aside from Philadelphia, where each and every fan should be ashamed of himself.
But ideology has no place -- even on the periphery -- in professional sports.
When Rush Limbaugh moonlighted as an NFL analyst for ESPN a few years back, it did not work out, not only because of what he said at the time but also because of everything he ever had said. When Keith Olbermann's career shifted from his main gig as sports announcer to political commentator, his subsequent appearances in the sports genre are tainted.
Take the recent immigration flap in Arizona. Leftist intellectual and El Sol all-star point guard Steve Nash -- slumming it in Arizona at $13 million per year -- is certainly free to lecture the proletariat. But like Jack Kemp, Jim Bunning, Heath Shuler or Bill Bradley, it probably would be better if he saved it for the post-game.
Those boycotting the Arizona Diamondbacks are equally grating. Obviously, I oppose any sort of discrimination by my childhood teams -- unless the Yanks are exclusively signing Dominican stars; then they can call themselves Los Gringos for all I care. But I don't take out my exasperations over New Yorkers' consistently voting for Chuck Schumer on the New York Knicks.
Sports happen to be one of the most meritocratic institutions in this nation. They divide us into regional and traditional clusters. To inject corrosive political grandstanding into this thing that so many of us love can only undermine the camaraderie of fans, who are able to put aside their ideological differences, financial situations and often their worries to partake in a communal gratification that politicians and "activists" only pretend to understand and foster.
And, after all, is nothing sacred?
Wow, has anybody seen this woman on the MLB Network? She is totally gorgeous. Her name is Lisa Kerney.
We had a horrible baseball game here in Auburn yesterday against SEC rival, Georgia!
It was the third-game of a three game series. Auburn won the first two, 4-3 in 11-innings on Friday night, and then 3-0 on Saturday.
In Sunday's game, Auburn jumped-off to an 8-0 lead after one-inning, and then, after eight-innings, the Tigers remained on top by an 11-5 score! All we needed was three outs and the sweep was ours!
Instead, we got one of the worst pitching performances ever seen here by a steady stream of Auburn relievers. The first guy walked two Georgia runners, followed by a three-run homer, making the score 11-8! The next pitcher promptly walked four consecutive batters and then he, too, was replaced with the score now 11-9. With one out, the next pitcher walks in another run, making it 11-10. Then we strike out a Georgia batter for the second out! But THE NEXT BATTER then socks a GRAND-SLAM HOMER... 14-11, Georgia takes the lead!
And that would be the final score!
Chalk one up for the Baby Boom Generation. Jamie Moyer at age 49 becomes the oldest player ever to win a MLB game. Way to go Jamie!
The Rockies hurler becomes the game's oldest pitcher to win a major league game, inspiring the selection of an entire lineup of players who stretched the age envelope.
By Ross Atkin, Staff / April 18, 2012
Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies broke a Major League Baseball age barrier Tuesday night by becoming the oldest pitcher to ever win a game at age 49. He handcuffed the San Diego Padres for seven innings, picking up the “W” in a 5-3 victory.
The performance proved that the Rockies didn’t simply put Moyer in the team’s starting rotation as a ticket-selling gimmick, which has happened. Does anyone remember, for example, the Chicago White Sox bringing Minnie Minoso out of retirement for two games in 1980, at the age of 55, so that he could play in four different decades?
Moyer’s place on the Colorado Rockies is no AARP stunt. He still can get batters out, and not with either overpowering stuff or an elusive knuckleball, which has been the low-stress delivery that most often has led to pitching longevity. Hoyt Wilhelm and Tim Wakefield come to mind.
Moyer’s 78 m.p.h. fastballs barely warm up a radar gun, but he is a crafty mound artisan who keeps hitters off balance with changes of speed and location and enough movement in his pitches to make solid contact a challenge. Against the Padres, he gave up only six hits and two unearned runs.
ESPN studio analyst Barry Larkin says Moyer excels at pitching by “subtraction,” which means ratcheting down the speed of his deliveries to both keep the hitter’s out of sync while also tempting them to over-swing to generate the power that pitch’s speed doesn’t provide. It is extremely frustrating going against Moyer, Larkin says, because you know you’ll get something to hit, but you can’t do that much with it.
This isn’t to say players don’t connect against him. In fact, he has given up more home runs than any player in history, 511. But he also won 268 games, which ties him with Jim Palmer for 34th on the all-time list.
Moyer, who is now with his ninth different team, sat out the entire 2011 season while recovering from reconstructive arm surgery.
The father of eight children is older than eight current managers and 16 general managers, according to The New York Times. He also was 80 days older when he beat the Padres than Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers when Quinn set the record for oldest pitcher to win a game in 1932. Quinn was 49 years, 70 days old when he accomplished the feat.
I am not a New York Yankees fan, but I sure as heck love their on field/locker room YES network reporter/commentator, Meredith Marakovits.
Meredith's predecessor Kim Jones was certainly not too bad either.
Regardless of errors commited...there can be no doubt that it was a night of sloppy pitching...and everyone knows that good pitching will always stop good hitting.
robert0259 wrote: "Regardless of errors commited...there can be no doubt that it was a night of sloppy pitching...and everyone knows that good pitching will always stop good hitting."
While it's entirely possible that the pitching in that game was sloppy, that's only speculation on your part, Robert.
I'm guessing that it was instead a night of outstanding hitting, with an explosion of offense that no amount of quality pitching could withstand! I mean, even Hall of Fame pitchers like Nolan Ryan gave up home runs on occasion, right? Perhaps on this night, the batting was simply too great for any efforts on the mound to overcome?
That's what I'd like to think.
I guess it's wonderful that Moyer is pitching at 49...maybe some young pitcher in the Rockies minor league system, whose spot on the roster is being taken up by the old timer might feel differently...but, what the hey..God Bless Him.